I HAD the pleasure of meeting a nice old guy named David Franklin the other day.
It turns out he had a lifelong love affair with all things Italian.
His wife Michela is Italian. She could teach Gino D’Acampo a thing or two in the kitchen.
He likes a cappuccino.
He likes a drop of Italian wine.
But the reason why I am presenting him on these pages today is his total devotion to Italian cars.
Normal everyday Fiats.
David has had fifty-five of these since he started with a little red 500 in 1963, and he’s never bought anything else.
Now, almost 60 years later, it can still be found in a red 500, even though it’s now an all-electric one.
The retired machine tool boss insists he’s only had one breakdown so far – and that was in April 1966 when a valve spring blew on his 850 coupe.
He has driven all over Europe on family holidays and won countless off-road production car trials. All in a reliable Fiat.
David said, “You brought us much joy.”
Sounds like we need a top 5. . .
“I enjoyed them all”
David said: “The most practical and useful was the Multipla. It was the ugliest, but you could put six people in it. It was a great car.
“And it handled great because it was very wide.
“The new 500e is another. This is great fun. I’m 84 and I love to step on the gas and whoops, let’s go.
“Sometimes my glasses end up in the back seat. I am now convinced of the idea of electric cars. You just need to increase the range a bit.
“The 850 Coupé was another good car. And the 850 sedan. The rear shelf was wide enough to place the tote bag on. (They use an 850 Saloon at the First Dates Hotel on TV.)
“The Tipo with 16 valves was also good. That sounded good and ran well. My son had an Uno Turbo.
“The truth is I enjoyed them all. Everyone had fun driving them.
“I’ve already asked when a bigger 500e will come out.”
I can answer that for you.
Fiat No. 56 sold to the Franklins.
- Random question: What is David’s favorite pizza? He replied: “The quattro stagioni, the four-season pizza with all the trimmings.”
https://www.the-sun.com/motors/6023154/italian-car-fan-owned-55-fiats/ “In 84 years of driving I have owned 55 Fiats and they have given us a lot of pleasure,” reveals the fanatic